Tony Novak profile picture
  "AskTony" column archive        


Most Popular

AskTony Archive

This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

New questions

Submit consumer finance questions at and health insurance questions at

Sponsored by: Insurance Exchange - your source of valuable information on state and federal health reform benefits.

Core Health Insurance - America's favorite mini-med insurance  with affordable premiums, freedom to choose providers, optional PPO discounts and guaranteed eligibility regardless of medical conditions.

Please support the Web sites that make publication of AskTony services possible.

Understanding limited health insurance

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: I am a reporter with the LA Times doing an article on limited benefit health plans. How can I find some of the participants in these plans to interview?

A: Although we assist with many of these health plan enrollments, we do not have access to individual member's contact information and even if we did, privacy laws protect the information. But it should not be difficult to find people who are already enrolled in this type of health insurance plan. The employees of grocery store chains on the east coast are enrolled in this type of benefit plan and Wal-mart employees nationwide are also offered this type of health insurance benefit. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article on this topic and there is currently a legislative proposal in Wisconsin addressing this issue that is similar to the defeated 2004 ballot initiative in California intended to require large employers to provide a specified minimum amount of health care benefits. Almost every health insurance company has introduced or will soon be offering limited benefit health plans because we simply cannot afford the full coverage plans used in the past. This is clearly the trend of the future in health insurance. The concern is that many enrolled in these plans do not know what benefits are provided. Applicants in Basic Health Insurance plan at , for example, call almost every day asking “Why is this health insurance so cheap?” clearly indicating that they are not aware that the benefits of this policy are significantly lower than full coverage health insurance plans.


More resources: